Derby had Red Rockin’and me living lucky in VIP

May 9, 2006 1:53 AM

I am still licking my wounds, but what a day it was for the Las Vegas Race and Sports books packed wall to wall and hanging from the chandeliers.

I have been in Vegas since 1977 and have never seen crowds like this for a horse race. If you didn’t know better, you would have thought it was Super Bowl Sunday. It also didn’t hurt that the de la Hoya/Mayorga fight was the same night. I was invited to Red Rock Station for a day at the races and lucky enough to sit in the luxurious VIP sections at my IPT terminal ( no waiting for me at the windows).

I enjoyed stuffing myself with the top notch food that Art (Manteris) and Jason (McCormick) laid out for players and guests. That was one top notch deal by the entire staff in the Red Rock book, which deserves much credit under very trying conditions.

My whole day wasn’t a loss. I did hit the exacta for one buck as I followed my father, Broadway Bennie’s advice. When in doubt, just play the B’s. So I made a $1 exacta box with Bob and John, Barbaro, Bluegrass Cat, Brother Derek and Flashy Bull. I got back $293 and change for my $30 dollar bet, taking some of the sting away from not cashing any of my KD future bets.

Hero turned trainer Michael Matz was a most deserving winner. Matz defied all the critics with his training style, kept to what he thought was the best way to get there with a fresh horse and proved that he was right. This was the fourth straight year with a first time KD winner. The big guys were shut out again with all their high priced colts.

Thankfully, we won’t have to worry about the four week angle next year. I have my legal pad out and will be charting horses with trainers that have never won a Kentucky Derby. Maybe I can get the winner next year.

Brother Derek and Showing Up did run huge in a losing effort. Breaking from post 18, Brother Derek had a horrible trip being bounced around track and courageously finished in a dead heat for fourth. With no problems, he will be one tough customer in the Preakness. We could have another B and B exacta with Barbaro and Brother Derek.

Showing Up, in just his fourth lifetime start, ran huge to pick up sixth behind the deadheated pair of Jazil and Derek. This guy has loads of talent and will be a force in the upcoming months. What about Bluegrass Cat? I think he just likes this track. When jockey Dominguez and trainer Todd Pletcher get together, they become very dangerous.

Next week: A look at the Preakness and who has the best shot against Barbaro

Streaks ruling baseball

I hope you bettors took advantage of some very good streaks this past week and just didn’t miss the ride. First, the Cubs are hitting the ball like they are wearing blind folds. Losers of six straight, Chicago goes into its final game with the Padres having scored 0,1,0,0,1,3 during that slide. On the other side, San Diego has won seven in a row.

The Phillies are on a very nice eight game winning streak and entertain the Mets in a big mid-week series in Philly. A quick look at the 1½ run lines shows that even when taking plus money, I am still down 3 units. I expect things to pick and hopefully be ahead by the All-Star break.

I’m excited this week about the Red Sox going into Yankee Stadium for a three game series. These hated rivals will definitely put on a show worthy of watching for a few hours.

Now, that’s some real baseball!